So, here we are, at the end of the semester and, in my case, the end of my first semester here at college. I have to admit I’ve had a pretty tough semester, not academically, but emotionally. That’s not to say I had no academic troubles! I had papers and papers to write that I put off because I didn’t know how to go about them or because I was just plain lazy. I had exams…well, I had precisely two exams that worried me like crazy, and those were for Psych of the Black Experience. In the end though, my experiences with good ol’ IB always saved me because they reminded me how to write essays (especially how to write four in a two-and-a-half-hour period–oh, Psych of the Black Experience, how you torture me). Theater, ID1, and Cognitive Psych were challenging enough, but not difficult, so I really only had a tough time with one class, which I think is a fortunate load to have my first semester.
What was really difficult for me was adjusting to, well, everything. Even though I have a single, I never got too lonely because everyone in my sponsor group was just a holler away. But, like every other freshman, I had trouble being away from the friends I knew so well. It also took me some time to adjust to the liberal mindset we have at the school. I was a little taken aback by the gender neutral bathrooms and talk of PGPs, but now it all seems pretty natural to me. When I had my boyfriend and my friend Maya visit, I remembered that I had to explain all of these things to them, because they don’t really exist in Miami! I think Pomona College did what it’s supposed to do to every student though: take them out of their comfort zones and teach them about new ways of life without making them feel like they have to change their existing way of living. So in other words: good job, Pomona!
So now that I’ve spent an entire semester at college, I know that leaving home won’t be as difficult as it was the first time–even though it will be for four months again–because I know what I’m coming back to. I’m sure coming back after the summer will be hard because I won’t have any idea what’s in store for living here during sophomore year, but knowing that I’m coming back to my sponsor group and my great room at Mudd 1 Back will be comforting. Sure, I won’t know what’s in store for me in terms of my classes, but at least I know that if I really don’t like them, I have until February to drop them! Most importantly though, when I come back, I’ll know that it is possible to live away from everything and everyone at home for four months and survive, and that, I think, is the most comforting thing to know.
As my freshman year is coming to a close at IU, I’m struck with complete disbelief.
I can’t believe my first year in the magical land of college is over. As much of a cliché as it is, it feels like only yesterday I said goodbye to my parents, sat down on my bed and sighed.
I had no idea what I was doing.
I remember the moment they left I thought to myself, “Now what?”
I knew some people from my high school, but I was all alone on a floor of girls I didn’t know, living with a girl I didn’t know and absolutely nothing to do with myself.
Looking back, I realize that I’m probably never going to have that feeling ever again. Next year I’m living with three amazing girls I met in an on-campus apartment.
Next year I won’t be all alone, I’ll be surrounded by people and I probably will be after college and for the rest of my life and I honestly can’t believe it.
Lesson 1: Cherish every moment
Cherish every second you have on campus, especially your freshman year. The first year of college is actually a “year of firsts.”
First time living on your own, first time having a roommate other than your family, first time trying to figure out how to live without a full-sized fridge.
Some moments will really suck. You’ll be driven to tears from stress, horrible days and horrible people. The semester will feel never-ending and like things are just crumbling around you.
Some moments will be the best of your life. You’ll laugh so hard your freshman fifteen abs will ache. You’ll smile as you meet new people and find awesome friends. You’ll do a little dance in the hallway when you get an A on that really hard test.
No matter what, every moment counts and you only get so many.
Lesson 2: Work hard. You’re here for a reason.
This is the lesson that no one wants to hear, but I couldn’t have seen it unfold horribly so many times on campus.
Do not get caught up in all of the parties, friends and happenings on campus.
You are there for one reason: to get a degree. Don’t forget you are paying for those classes you are skipping.
I know it’s fun, but there has to be time to focus too. Trust me, there’s time for both.
Lesson 3: Do everything you can.
I know I was just saying that there is time for both, but college is also only four years.
Please don’t miss out any opportunities because you were too scared, lazy or shy.
Please join the intramural soccer team, the school newspaper and the rock-climbing club. Do whatever you want and whatever you find fun.
It doesn’t matter if your friends are doing it. This is the number one thing I struggled with in both high school and college.
I was just too scared to do things by myself. I improved in college, but I still have a long way to go.
Don’t miss out. Joining something you don’t anyone from is the number one way to make friends.
Though the next lesson is a cliché, it’s still incredibly important to your college experience:
Lesson 4: Have fun.
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